Washington DC

Cherry Blossom Watch: Storm Team4's Peak Bloom Prediction

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Washington, D.C.'s iconic cherry blossom trees are in their first blooming stage — and blossom watch is on.

So, when can we expect peak bloom?

Storm Team4 Meteorologist Amelia Draper says there are a few factors that go into her peak bloom prediction: indicator trees, dormancy days and temperature.

First, a photo of flowers on an Okame cherry tree in D.C. on Feb. 21st is an indication that peak bloom is coming for the Yoshino trees at the Tidal Basin, Draper said. The National Park Service says the tree tends to bloom about three weeks before the Yoshino trees.

Draper says D.C.'s winter wasn't cold enough for the trees to go dormant this year — so she's throwing out the second factor, which is dormancy days.

Finally, the temperature is likely the biggest factor when predicting peak bloom, Draper says.

The outlook for March includes above-average temperatures, especially for the first half of the month. February was also the sixth-warmest on record in D.C.

Based on comparing past years' peak bloom with similar temperature profiles, Draper predicts peak bloom will be March 18 to March 23.

The National Park Service will announce its official peak bloom prediction on Wednesday.

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